New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley’s status is uncertain after Monday’s practice ended with his left leg wrapped in ice.
ESPN’s Jordan Raanan and North Jersey’s Art Stapleton captured video of the apparent triggering incident, in which Barkley makes a fingertip grab on a Kyle Lauletta throw before beating cornerbacks Janoris Jenkins and Curtis Riley for a big gain down the left sidelines.
After his sprint down the field for an implied touchdown, Barkley walks back a tad gingerly and appears to join trainers on the other end of the field.
— Jordan Raanan (@JordanRaanan) August 13, 2018
Multiple reporters confirmed that Barkley did join trainers after the play and had his left leg wrapped in an ice pack. The Giants’ official Twitter account had a video providing a closer look at Barkley’s catch, but it has since been removed.
Play may have come with a cost: Barkley’s left leg is now wrapped. May have tweaked something extending for the pass https://t.co/lei5M3LDb9
— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) August 13, 2018
Speaking after practice, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur was waiting to get further information about Barkley’s status. SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano said that Shurmur didn’t know what happened to his rookie running back, and replied only “we’ll see” in terms of his future status.
The outlook, however, seems positive according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, who released an update several hours later.
Saquon Barkley tweaked his hamstring at practice, source says he is fine. Giants do not seem too worried. #Giants
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) August 13, 2018
Vacchiano later released an updated statement from Shurmur.
UPDATE: Pat Shurmur on Saquon Barkley: "Saquon has a mild strain, and we’ll be smart with him as we move along here.” https://t.co/GplIe4p7tD
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) August 13, 2018
Needless to say, losing Barkley for any period would be a blow to both the Giants and their fans. Barkley was chosen second overall by the Giants in last spring’s NFL Draft, with the move being one of the most polarizing in recent draft memory.
With Eli Manning entering his 15th season as the team’s starting quarterback, many felt the Giants should’ve used an abnormally high draft pick on one of the many touted rookie quarterback prospects, like USC’s Sam Darnold, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, or UCLA’s Josh Rosen instead.
Nonetheless, Barkley, a Penn State alum, is expected to revitalize a struggling Giants offense, one that hasn’t reached 30 points in two full seasons.
In three years with the Nittany Lions, he tallied 3,843 rushing yards, good for second in the school’s illustrious football history, and earned All-American and All-Big Ten honors in the process. The Giants’ run game, in particular, has been in a bit of a rut, boasting no 1,000-yard rushers since 2012, the same year they last finished in the upper half of league rushing stats.
Barkley gave Giants fans a potential glimpse of what’s to come on Thursday when he broke out for a 39-yard on the first play from scrimmage in the Giants’ preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants will return to preseason action on Friday night, headed to Detroit to take on the Lions (7:00 p.m. ET, WNBC).